THE HITMAN HAS TWO FACES: What is Brandon Hanna’s Secret Scheme?

THE HITMAN HAS TWO FACES: What is Brandon Hanna’s Secret Scheme?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 23/8/2019


Ever since Ben Bateman and Tom Dagnino joined the Five Horsemen in Houston, there have been questions as to whether Dagnino – as a manager, not a competitor – counted as one of the “five.”

That question was answered very recently when Brandon Hanna was invited by John Rocha to become the 5th Horseman. As the fan base went crazy and the Action Army did everything they could to call out the latest “traitor,” the story took an unexpected turn as Hanna was then seen signing a contract to join… The Family.

Let’s take a moment to try too igure out what the heck is going on here, and what the repercussions could be within the league.

Why Him?

First of all, we need to look at why “The Hitman” is in such high demand. One of the 2019 rookie crop, Hannah currently sits at 2-0 (1KO) in the Innergeekdom Division following a win on his debut in a Fatal Fiveway against Keetin Marchi, Chance Ellison and fellow debutant Chandru Dhandapani and a 20-18 victory over Emily “The Rose” Jacobson. His next match looks to be a 1v1 rematch against Chandru, where victory would see him well on the way to a potential title shot. Someone who knows the game well, he has clearly studied hard within the division and could soon find himself being classed within the IG Division’s top tier of competitors.

Currently, both the Horsemen and The Family are lacking a competitor in the Innergeekdom and bringing in someone of Hanna’s calibre would makes them not just a part of the Division, but a force within it. Bringing Hanna into either faction elevates them immediately.

Who Controls the Hitman?

Trying to be a part of tw factions at the same time is just greedy, and with all the history between the Horsemen and the Family, there is no way either of them would accept their new guy also being associated with their nemeses.

So now we need to figure out who Hanna is actually going to be representing. Going with the idea that “the early bird catches the worm,” it would seem John Rocha has found his 5th Horseman. However, Thadd Williams proved in the past the importance of a contract and Burnett having Hanna actually sign paperwork would likely have more weight than a verbal agreement; Rocha and Hanna were so busy throwing up the symbol of the Horsemen, they didn’t even shake hands!

When talking to Hannah, Rocha mentions that Bateman speaks highly of him. Hannah was originally the intern to “The Boss” and from all his previous appearances, it would appear that his allegiances in the Action Civil War would lie with his former employer. However, it must also be noted that Burnett says Andrew Ghai also spoke highly of him. Had this been purely Burnett’s doing, I would have been worried that “The Captain” had just risked his reputation within The Family by bringing in someone who had already committed to the Horsemen; however it would appear that Ghai is fully on board with the acquisition, which makes me feel that this is not going to result in Hanna betraying The Family and joining the Horsemen.

What is worth noting as well is that Hanna left his role as Bateman’s intern to go out on his own following Bateman and Ghai’s split. Perhaps even he felt that his employer was the guilty party in Team Action splitting up.

Looking at the evidence, it looks like the Horsemen are going to be left disappointed.

What Does This Mean for the Horsemen?

Hanna duping the Horsemen and joining The Family probably won’t go down well and will certainly add more friction within the Horsemen stable. Ben Bateman appears to have been instrumental to Hanna joining the group and seeing Hanna betray them for The Family could affect his reputation within the stable, which could then turn ugly given his fractious history with Rocha.

Should their relationship deteriorate, it could also put strain on Rocha and Reilly’s relationship as it was Reilly who took a risk by backing Bateman and Dagnino as potential Horsemen.

Have Hanna’s actions just set in motion a series of events that will see Who’s The Boss walk away from the Horsemen?

Conversely, this could also bring the Horsemen closer together and galvanise them for another attempt to take down The Family. Could this motivate Ben Bateman to enter the Innergeekdom purely to remind his former intern who the real boss is? Or could they instead turn to an unattached Innergeekdom star like Mara Knopic or Chandru and put out a hit on the Hitman, with the prize being a place in the Horsemen stable?

The repercussions could even go beyond The Horsemen and The Family. Kaiser was the first to offer Hanna a spot in his faction but was immediately turned down. After seeing Hanna join a faction led by a man who can’t tell the difference between “Lou” and “Kaiser”, could he set his own Innergeekdom star Kevin Smets against him? With Smets having destroyed Hlavac in San Diego and Hanna 3-0 if he beats Chandru, that would be a mouth-watering #1 Contender match.

One thing is for certain: There’s some drama ahead!

SPLIT AND RUN: The Five Most Emotional Breakups in Schmoedown History!

SPLIT AND RUN: The Five Most Emotional Breakups in Schmoedown History!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 23/7/2019


The tale as old as time took a shock turn recently, with the news that “The Beauty” Witney Seibold had left William “The Beast” Bibbiani and brought an end to Critically Acclaimed as a team. Seibold – who lost his Singles debut to David Del Rio – had not taken well to Bibbiani putting his efforts into helping “The Kid” Brendan Meyer so chose to leave Critically Acclaimed and go back to his Anarchy partner Marc Edward Heuck, while Bibbiani has now promoted Meyer from apprentice to partner.

Critically acclaimed were a well-loved team, and as such their split has broken the hearts of many fans. But it is not the first time that we have had to go through the agony of an emotional breakup. Today I will be looking back over the top five emotional breakups that we have had to face. Tissues at the ready? Let’s go!

Before getting into my Top 5, I wanted to give honourable mentions to two teams whose breakups may not have been emotional moments but still provoked a large reaction from the fan base. Having gone on a crazy run of nine consecutive wins (including a title victory and six successful defences), and as some of the biggest heels in the league at the time, the Patriots had a sizeable group of fans. Following their title loss to Above The Line and their loss in their Iron Man rematch at Collision, Jeff Sneider walked away from The Lion’s Den after finding out Tom Dagnino was planning to trade him, but JTE stuck with his manager, bringing an end to a team that is surely destined for the Schmoedown Hall of Fame.

Above The Line’s breakup didn’t even happen on camera, however, as Samm Levine announced in a post-Collision special that he was retiring from competition and vacating both the Singles and Teams Titles in the process. Above The Line were a well-loved team despite not even being active in the league for a full year, while Drew McWeeny and Samm Levine clearly improved each other during their partnership, so many fans mourned the potential this team had to break all the records.

5. Six Degrees

As two of the original leading ladies within the league and with fun theatrical entrances always guaranteed, Brianne Chandler and Stacy Howard quickly became fan favourites. Even with their turn to the dark side under Jay Washington, they were still a team that you couldn’t help root for. After DC Movie News knocked them out of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown Teams Tournament and Mike Kalinowski defeated Brianne in the Singles tournament, “Miss Movies” announced that she would be taking a break from competing.

Brianne failed to turn up to support Jay Washington in the Manager Bowl, but appeared to him and Stacy after he lost to announce that she had made a decision and that Jay was dismissed. She asked Stacy to come with her, but Stacy chose to remain loyal to Jay, bringing an end to Six Degrees and transitioning the Missfits into the Viper Sqaud, while Brianne walked away to jump in a car with none other than her former rival Mike Kalinowski.

4. Top 10

One of the original teams from Season 2, “The Outlaw” John Rocha and “Mighty” Matt Knost became the second ever Team Champions but lost to the Patriots on their first defence. For over a year they continued to face whoever they had to in order to win back their titles, only for bad luck and questionable calls to see them lose to the Patriots two more times and leave each of them questioning if they wanted to continue.

With the formation of the Horsemen, it looked like the team would have new life, until Anarchy broke them up, putting Knost with William Bibbiani and Rocha with new Horseman “Dangerous” Dan Murrell. Despite neither of their Anarchy teams making it beyond the quarterfinals, Knost clearly felt that Murrell was the perfect person to replace him as Rocha’s partner, so at Spectacular he made the announcement that Top 10 would not be reforming as he would be stepping away from the league.

The continuation of the Founding Fathers meant that this was not as emotional a break-up as it could have been, but as Knost exited with one last dance, we were still left feeling that this was the end of an era.

3. Nerd’s Watch

The team that brought Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing into the league, her and “The Pitboss” Ken Napzok were a force for good in the league at a time when the Lion’s Den were running amok. A loss to Above The Line in the opening round of the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown left the future of the team in the balance as Ken deliberated whether he wanted to continue competing in the division, while The Missfits were doing everything they could to entice Rachel into their faction.

Rachel chose to turn down the Missfits and wait for Ken, and she was as shocked as anyone to see him revealed as the newest member of the Lion’s Den as the season built towards Spectacular. Appealing to Ken’s good side, she convinced him to come back and take on the Den’s 2nd team Blofeld’s Cat, but he failed to turn up for the match and Rachel was forced to take them on in a 2v1 handicap match. Though she fought hard, she eventually fell to a TKO loss, only for Ken to arrive as the winners were announced… or as he put it as he walked over to the gloating Lion’s Den members: “to congratulate these guys.”

We sat there in shock watching on as Rachel had to deal with losing not just the match, but also her partner and suddenly the world looked a little bit darker.

2. Team Action

Another team whose end began with Anarchy, Ben “The Boss” Bateman and “Dastardly” Andrew Ghai were the bad boys of the league, with Andrew already getting served a ban for tackling John Rocha at Spectacular. Anarchy saw the pair broke up, with Ben being paired with Mark “Yodi” Reilly, but Drew sat out the tournament after refusing to work under Jay Washington.

As part of Who’s The Boss, Ben won the Anarchy Tournament but he and Reilly fell just short against the Shirewolves at Spectacular. Following the match, Ben and Drew discussed the idea of Who’s The Boss staying together, something that Drew agreed to, suggesting the pair stat their own faction with Reilly. Members of the Action Army began to get excited at the thought of their boys leading their own faction, then found themselves watching on in horror as Drew tackled Ben through a coffee table.

Ghai went on to tell Bateman that he was nothing without him, before spitting on him and walking off to begin finding support for the upcoming Action Civil War. The shock of Ghai’s actions and seeing the best of friends become fierce enemies in a matter of seconds, not to mention the impact it has had on this season gets this one high on the list.

1. DC Movie News

Action’s breakup wasn’t the only one to impact the way the last year went, as by that point the league had already been shaken by my number 1 pick: Mike Kalinowski walking away from DC Movie News and The League to create KOrruption and take control of the league. Kalinowski did not feel that he was getting the support he needed from his faction in early 2018 and things reached a head when DC Movie News took on Team Action. Following an agonising loss, he was clearly simmering throughout the post-match interview and eventually broke, going on a tirade against Roxy Striar, Jonny Loquasto and teammate Adam Gertler before announcing that he was done with the faction and walking out of the interview. The silence was deafening as nobody could believe what they were seeing, and I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Gertler as his response to what happened was a confused “I feel like I just broke Mike Kalinowski” before having to be led away in tears. It was so emotional, even Team Action were in tears watching… though admittedly theirs were from laughing so hard at their opponents’ misfortune.

Did I miss any? Let me know what you think the most emotional breakup has been.

OH ODD, YOU DEVILS: The Schmoedown History of The Odd Couple!

OH ODD, YOU DEVILS: The Schmoedown History of The Odd Couple!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 22/6/2019


Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 21/1/2019

AS THE WORLD BURNS: Can Robert Meyer Burnett Stay in Charge of The Family?

AS THE WORLD BURNS: Can Robert Meyer Burnett Stay in Charge of The Family?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 14/6/2019


Robert Meyer Burnett has not had the best of luck when joining factions.

He became the fourth Horseman at the first Spectacular following his victory in the inaugural Innergeekdom match, but then “The Captain” struggled to establish himself in the league, losing the Innergeekdom Title to Hector Navarro in his first defence before losing to Jeremy Jahns in a #1 Contender Match. Blaming the Horsemen for his demise, he took advantage of William Bibbiani’s betrayal to walk away from Rocha and Knost and join their arch-rivals the Lion’s Den.

Things didn’t improve much for him there. He lost in Innergeekdom to Jay Washington and lost in a Fatal Fiveway Qualifying match for the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown. His only real success in the Lion’s Den came as one half of Blofeld’s Cat, who went 1-1 in the Ultimate Schmoedown before TKO’ing Rachel Cushing in a 2v1 handicap match. Following Marc Andreyko’s defection to Emma Fyffe, Burnett was deemed surplus to requirements and let go from the faction, finding himself locked in a room for six months then disappearing for the rest of the year to plot revenge.

Now back and managing The Family, things appeared to be on the up for him. Burnett convinced Drew McWeeny to turn to the dark side and join him and Drew Ghai, with their debut match as a victory over Ben Bateman and Tom Dagnino. While Ghai took a knock with a KO loss to Ben Bateman at Houston (and his subsequent chair-induced KO), a recent win for The Family over Inky and the Brain put things back on track for the faction.

But while the faction as a whole may be in a decent place, is Burnett’s place in the faction once again at risk, this time from one Roxy Striar?

Roxy’s history with Ben Bateman has seen her take a side in the Action Civil War, with her frequently calling herself a “Ghai Girl”. Chicago’s live event saw her take things one step further by slapping her former flame in the face, something that got immediate respect from Ghai, who proceeded to blatantly flirt with her via video in front of Bateman. Roxy travelled to the Houston live event to support her new Ghai, while she also crashed The Family’s latest post-match interview to congratulate the team on their win before giving the dastardly one a kiss on the cheek.

While Roxy’s managing of The League had mixed results, she has been much more hands on since being assigned to The Odd Couple as a part of the Anarchy shake-up, and it’s paying off. In the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown, she managed to get Marc Andreyko and Jeff Sneider working together as an effective team as they TKO’d Team Seb’s, beat the Paddington Two and then lost to The Harris Brothers – a match that now looks like an aberration given their other results. Such was her impact on the pair, Andreyko immediately decided to ask her to continue managing him when he heard that Emma Fyffe was disbanding the Fyffe Club to become Commissioner, and Sneider also agreed to keep he trio going.

Since then, both players have played well in the Free 4 All, Andreyko had a narrow loss to John Rocha and Sneider began his next run for the Singles Title with a victory over Mark Reilly, while The Odd Couple TKO’d the Scream Queens, shocked Who’s The Boss in Chicago and recently defeated the 5-0 Shirewolves to win the Teams Title. Arguably, Roxy is one of the frontrunners at this point for Manager of the Year!

A manager of such quality, it would be stupid for Ghai to avoid bringing her into The Family considering she’s clearly on his side, while Andreyko and Sneider also showed themselves to be against Ben Bateman by refusing to shake his hand in Chicago. Bringing in The Odd Couple would make The Family a deadly faction in Teams and Singles, worthy of taking on The Horsemen.

But if the three of them join, or even just Roxy, does The Family need two managers? Arguably not. The only faction that could be considered to have two managers is KOrruption, but Grace Hancock has clearly taken on a manager’s role, whereas Ken is now more of a mouthpiece for the faction. While Burnett could certainly be a mouthpiece, he has a tendency to get distracted by personal rivalries – “NAVARRO!!!!” – and this role could easily be filled by Andrew Ghai alongside his competing.

What role would this leave for Burnett? He is the obvious Innergeekdom competitor for the faction, but his previous performances have suggested that he would be some distance off from competing against Cushing, Kalinowski and Smets. There is a very real possibility that Roxy joining the family would see him as surplus to requirements again.

So now Burnett needs to make sure the Drews don’t want to bring Roxy on board, and that will be easier said than done. Drew McWeeny looked focused on winning back the belt he was forced to give up, which could leave him at odds with Burnett if he chooses to focus on personal gripes. And as for Ghai, Houston was meant to be his big moment, but Burnett could do nothing to stop his man from getting blown out in the ring. Further than that, it was Burnett who supplied Ghai with the chair to attack Bateman. The very same chair that left him battered and bruised. A manager who lets his man get physically beaten in the ring versus a manager who would do anything for him… it sounds like an easy choice for Ghai.

The big factor could be the upcoming Manager Bowl at Collision. Rather than have the managers compete, they will have to pick a member of their faction to represent them in the match, with the winning faction’s manager being in charge of the Commissioners for a month. If Burnett chooses the wrong competitor and The Family loses this – especially if The Horsemen emerge victorious – then this will not go down well with the Drews. And if he were to lose to Tom Dagnino – who has challenged him to a match – then that could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces Ghai to turn to Roxy.

Watch your back, Robert…

WE NOW ANNOUNCE YOU: The Best Teammate and Stable Reveals in Schmoedown History!!

WE NOW ANNOUNCE YOU: The Best Teammate and Stable Reveals in Schmoedown History!!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 4/6/2019


If the Founding Fathers KO’ing in Double Toasted and Ben Bateman KO’ing Andrew Ghai (twice!) wasn’t thrilling enough, the Houston live event gave us the answer to a question that has been asked all season: who will replace Matt Knost and Jason Inman in the Five Horsemen?

As a fan of the Horsemen who has really come to appreciate Bateman’s dedication to the competition an found myself siding with him and Tom Dagnino (something I’d have never thought possible even a year ago) as part of Who’s The Boss, seeing the remaining Horsemen step out with Dagnino to support Ben and then seeing all five of them throw up the symbol of the Five Horsemen after Ghai’s second KO was an amazing moment to watch on the stream.

But was it the best reveal? Over the years, we have had a number of times that players have revealed a new teammate or factions have revealed a new member in a shocking moment, so I have picked my top 10 shock reveals.

10. Elliott Dewberry and the Wildberries

Going into the 2017 Ultimate Schmeodown, everybody knew that Josh Macuga was making a return to the Teams Division, but after a less-than-amicable breakup with Finstock, nobody knew who his partner would be. The Wildman left it as late as he could to reveal his new teammate ahead of his Round 1 match against the Wolves of Steel, going as far as to even emerge on his own without so much as revealing the name of the team. With a can of Coors and a bottle of Fireball beside him, “The Wildman” introduced none other than Eliot “The Mountain” Dewberry and they immediately chugged a can of Coors each, a perfect representation of what the Wildberries would become!

9. Clarke Wolfe and the Shirewolves

Following Ken Napzok’s betrayal of Rachel Cushing to join the Lion’s Den, “The Crusher” challenged her former teammate to a Teams match: Napzok and new manager Tom Dagnino against her and a new partner that she would find. With the reveal of her partner not coming until the next season, fans had months to speculate about who could be the mystery partner. It looked like we were going to be teased again as we saw Rachel go to meet her partner the other side of a doorway, closing the door behind her. However, the picture returned after a fadeout and the door opened to reveal none other than “Classy” Clarke Wolfe, who confirmed fans’ wildest dreams were coming true with the proclamation: “Of course it’s me! Shirewolves!”

8. Tim Franco and KOrruption

A big part of Stacy Howard’s defection from the Viper Squad to KOrruption was the promise of a teammate, something she felt wasn’t being prioritised by Jay Washington. Weeks passed with both Stacy and new manager Grace Hancock teasing that they had a partner but refusing to tell anyone outside of the faction. Grace eventually decided to announce the newest member of KOrruption with a Team match, picking Late to the Party as their opponents. The reveal of their team name (Crimson Fury) gave nothing away and after Stacy emerged with the rest of the faction, the music usually associated with William Bibbiani began to play and a masked figure was led out. The hood and mask were removed, revealing none other than Tim “the Tank” Franco, who had no qualms about taking on his former friends.

7. Marc Andreyko and The Fyffe Club

After Thadd Williams announced that Tom Dagnino, Jay Washington and Ricky Hayberg would compete at Spectacular II in the first ever Manager Bowl, Emma Fyffe approached the Commissioner asking for a spot in the match as she had found a secret competitor to manage. Fyffe was escorted out for the match by a masked competitor and went on to win it. As her celebrations began, her competitor returned and unmasked himself to reveal none other than Marc Andreyko, who to everyone’s knowledge at that point was still a member of the Lion’s Den. Bringing in a top-quality competitor and hurting your rival faction all in one move… perfect!

6. Tom Dagnino, Ben Bateman and The Five Horsemen

With the Five Horsemen two men light, Mark Reilly and Dan Murrell had both suggested to John Rocha that he bring in Ben Bateman to fill one of the spots, something that Rocha was against due to his history with “The Boss”. For Bateman’s match with Ghai in Houston, an agreement was made that no managers or teammates would be allowed to feature with heir competitors, but as the match goes on, Team Ghai broke the agreement with both Robert Meyer Burnett and Roxy Striar coming out in support of the dastardly one, outnumbering Bateman 3-1, until halfway through Round 2. The Founding Fathers’ entrance music began to play, but out of the curtain stepped Tom Dagnino, followed by Mark Reilly, Dan Murrell and finally John Rocha, who all made their way ringside to support Bateman. After Bateman finished off his rival, Ghai attempted to attack him in the ring with a chair, but Booker T took the chair off him and gave it to Bateman. Rocha grabbed Ghai and shoved him towards Bateman, who used the chair to finish him off, before the five of them raised their hands in the symbol of the Five Horsemen.

5-3. The Decision

They may not be as theatrical as the ones above, but three new teams forming in one video was such a historic moment and they could not really be separated. After feeling like he was carrying Finstock, JTE chose to bring an end to Team B.O.B. and contact Clarke Wolfe, inviting her to team up. In a special episode, Clarke joined JTE, Finstock, Kristian and Mark at the table, where she announced that someone else had reached out to her about a team-up at the same. The Superman theme began to play and through the curtain stepped none other than reigning Singles Champion Mark “Yodi” Reilly, forming the Wolves of Steel.

Any hopes that JTE had of running back to Finstock were quickly dashed as the masked enigma announced that “Finstock doesn’t play second fiddle” and that he had also decided to drunk email a potential new teammate. The unmistakeable chords of “Wild Thing” began to play and out stepped Finstock’s new teammate: Josh “The Wildman” Macuga, looking pumped to form the Megapowers.

Thankfully, JTE had one arrow left in his quiver and announced that he had someone on the backburner in case Clarke turned him down. “Shipping up to Boston” began to play and out jumped Jeff Sneider, marking the formation of the most successful team in Schmoedown history: The Patriots.

2. Ken Napzok and the Lion’s Den

After Sam Witwer won the Fatal Fiveway #1 Contender Match to earn a title shot against Ken Napzok at Spectacular II, Tom Dagnino and Grace Hancock crashed his interview at the table. Dagnino announced that the Lion’s Den had the best Star Wars competitor. The throne room music from Return of the Jedi began to play and a hooded figure emerged through the curtain and smoke, only for Grace to remove their hood to reveal none other than Ken Napzok, shocking the world as he turned from hero to villain.

1. The Horsemen Return

After defeating JTE at the first LA live event, John Rocha hinted that he was about to re-form the Horsemen. After branding himself “The Ghai that beat the GOAT”, Andrew Ghai brought Team Action teammate Ben Bateman on board to make fun of Dan Murrell to get over their loss to the Shirewolves. Before they knew it, they found themselves being played offstage by a mysterious music and the lights went down. When the light returned, four hooded figures stood onstage, hands raised in the symbol of the Four Horsemen. One by one they revealed themselves: Matt Knost, John Rocha, Innergeekdom Champion Jason Inman and Mark Reilly, back from retirement.

As the fans went wild to see the new stable, the Horsemen changed their symbol from a four to a five, before the lights went out again, coming back up to reveal a fifth hooded figure. Rocha pulled off the hood to reveal none other than Dan Murrell, coming out of retirement as well, to challenge Ghai to a match!

What has been your favourite reveal…?

INTO THE STALLION-VERSE: What’s The Best Horsemen Stable Ever…?

INTO THE STALLION-VERSE: What’s The Best Horsemen Stable Ever…?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 28/5/2019


Houston’s live event will go down in history as a grand day for the Horsemen. The Founding Fathers took a step closer to the Teams Belts with a KO victory over Double Toasted, while Ben Bateman’s KO victory over Andrew Ghai saw “The Boss” and manager Tom Dagnino join their teammate Mark “Yodi” Reilly as the 4th and 5th members of the Horsemen.

This is the 3rd iteration of the Horsemen, who were the first faction to form back in Season 3, which gives us the chance to ask: what is the best iteration of the Horsemen?

Considering the latest iteration has just formed, and Jason Inman only played one match after joining the 2nd iteration of the faction, a lot of this will be based on the theoretical potential that each iteration had.

The Four Horsemen

STABLE: John Rocha, Matt Knost, William Bibbiani, Robert Meyer Burnett

The original Four Horsemen were headlined by “The Outlaw” John Rocha, who won the Singles Championship during their tenure and, though he did not successfully defend his title, was still one of the elite competitors in the division.

While Knost was a decent Singles competitor, he was not going to be challenging for that belt. However, his partnership with Rocha created one of the elite teams of the time in Top 10. They defeated the Schmoes to win the Teams Title and were very close to defending their title against the Patriots at Spectacular. Had Sneider and JTE not hit their 5-pointer, the Schmoedown would have been a very different place, but Top 10 always looked like one of the teams more likely to end their run.

Invited to join the faction after his stellar debut against Marc Andreyko, William “The Beast” Bibbiani was touted as a future Singles Champion right away, but struggled to live up to the hype before leaving the faction. Bibbiani clearly had the knowledge, but he became famous for his struggles in the final round and did not have the strategic side to his game that he has developed over more recent years. If we were looking at 2019 Bibbiani, he would be a huge strength for the faction, but back in 2017 he was unfulfilled potential.

The final Horseman to join the faction was Robert Meyer Burnett, who was invited to the stable after winning the inaugural Innergeekdom match to become the division’s first Champion. While he clearly had a strong knowledge base and was dangerous in Star Trek, “The Captain” benefitted in that match from a format that saw the scores reset after each round and would not have won if the match had been played in the format we are now used to. He lost the title in his next match to Hector Navarro and was defeated in a #1 Contender Match by Jeremy Jahns. He created strong pairings as part of the revolving door of Team Heroes, but with his partners not being Horsemen, their achievements were not often noted as wins for the faction.

While a strong faction for the time, the Four Horsemen did not live up to the hype before breaking up after the first Collision. If they were to be compared to the league’s current factions, they would be way down the pecking order.

The Five Horsemen (1st Stable)

STABLE: John Rocha, Matt Knost, Mark Reilly, Jason Inman, Dan Murrell

John Rocha may have had an up and down time in the Singles Division of late, but he is still a top tier competitor and won the Singles Title again by defeating Bibbiani. His Anarchy team-up with Murrell also created an elite team in the form of the Founding Fathers, who I think are destined to win the title at some point.

Murrell’s return to the league did not go as planned – losing to Andrew Ghai by TKO – but once he was back in his stride, he showed himself to once again be one of the elite competitors, winning the Singles Title at the start of the season before winning the Free 4 All.

Like Murrell, Reilly was TKO’d by Ghai on his return, but has since shaken off the rust and got back to proving himself as a top tier Singles competitor. His greatest accomplishments since his return have been as part of Anarchy team Who’s The Boss, who came close to defeating the Shirewolves at Spectacular after winning the Anarchy tournament. However, like Burnett with Heroes, the Horsemen may have allowed the pairing but not overtly come out in support of it due to Rocha’s history with Bateman and Dagnino.

Jason Inman was the Innergeekdom Champion by the time he joined the Horsemen, however in his one match as part of the faction, he lost to Mara Knopic before stepping away from the league indefinitely. However, his depth and breadth of knowledge, combined with a good sense of strategy, is such that he will likely go straight back into the elite category of Innergeekdom competitors if he returns, while he also remains a strong 2nd member of a team and with the right partner could push for a title match in the Teams Division.

Knost remained a strong 2nd competitor on the team, but with Top 10 being broken up by Anarchy, his impact for the Horsemen was limited and he chose to step away at the end of Season 5. Before leaving, however, he put in a couple of strong performances alongside William Bibbiani as part of the Cinemaniacs that suggested if he had stayed in the league and teamed back up with John Rocha going into Season 6, they could still be a top-level team.

This iteration of the Five Horsemen certainly had the competitors to be at the top of the bunch, but the breaking of teams for Anarchy and a lack of time together before losing Knost and Inman hurts the legacy of this stable.

The Five Horsemen (2nd Stable)

STABLE: John Rocha, Dan Murrell, Mark Reilly, Ben Bateman, Tom Dagnino

Dan Murrell has arguably cemented his place as the GOAT by winning the Singles Title in New York and this year’s Free 4 All. Rocha and Reilly remain top-tier singles competitors, and though his record may be just 5-4, I would consider Bateman a high-quality Singles competitor and with his knowledge in categories like Oscar Movies and Movie Release Dates, I see a belt in his future.

In the Teams Division, the faction now has two elite teams in the Founding Fathers and Who’s the Boss, both of whom I can imagine challenging for the title again by the end of the season, maybe even against each other!

On the surface, the new faction is missing representation in the Innergeekdom and Star Wars Divisions, but that may not actually be the case for long. John Rocha has stated his desire to enter the Star Wars Division and while Alex Damon and Joseph Scrimshaw will be very difficult opposition, Rocha’s training techniques will give him every chance of being competitive. Meanwhile, both Bateman and Murrell have previously discussed the option of entering the Innergeekdom Division, where either of them could quickly establish themselves in the top tier.

While Tom Dagnino’s performances in matches are probably not worth going into too much detail about, he has a good enough knowledge to be competitive in Manager Bowls. Where Dagnino comes into his own is as one of the premier managers in the league. He managed the Patriots through their unbeaten run and then Who’s the Boss to within one question of the title. He is quick to get involved and give his two cents to his competitors (whether it’s helpful or not), and helps his players on advice as to whether a competitor should use their challenge. Rocha has been known to get inside his own head and burn too hot at times but adding a manager could help avoid those moments. (Not only that, but as a manager, it is possible that he could be excluded from consideration as one of the Five – similar to how the Four Horsemen of 80s wrestling fame had 4 competitors and a manager, J.J. Dillon – which could mean that the stable still has a spot for an Innergeekdom specialist.)

The current iteration of the Five Horsemen may not have as many active competitors as the last iteration, but they are strong across the board and the addition of a manager takes this faction to a new level. This group also has the mutual respect and togetherness that the Four Horsemen did not appear to have, so you can imagine them working well as a unit.

For this reason, I think that the new-look Five Horsemen has the potential to be the strongest iteration of the Horsemen to date. What do you YOU think…?

“Horsemen! Let’s mount up, it’s time to ride!” – John Rocha

THE SUM OF ALL FEUDS: All The Season 6 Schmoedown Rivalries!!

THE SUM OF ALL FEUDS: All The Season 6 Schmoedown Rivalries!!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 21/1/2019


We’re all well aware that the Schmoedown is equal parts movie trivia and entertainment, and as such we often see a number of rivalries and grudges developing in the league. As we approach a big event like Spectacular or Collision, we usually see a number of storylines come to the fore. Right now there are plenty of grudges between competitors and factions, so let’s have a reminder of who hates who in the build-up to Collision!

Who’s The Boss vs. The Family

Let’s get one of the most obvious ones out of the way first. The Civil War between Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai has been ongoing since Ghai tackled his former teammate through a table at Spectacular. Ghai now has a faction of his own to go up against Who’s The Boss in the form of The Family: Drew McWeeny and manager Robert Meyer Burnett. While the enmity between Ghai and Bateman is obviously the driving force of this war, let’s not forget that Burnett has his own score to settle with Tom Dagnino, who threw him out of the Lion’s Den at Spectacular II after deeming him surplus to requirements.

I get the feeling that Bateman and Ghai going toe-to-toe in Houston is only going to take this war to a new level.

Who’s The Boss vs. The Odd Couple

While I include all of The Odd Couple in this section, Sneider and Andreyko don’t appear to have too much enmity with Who’s The Boss here – despite Sneider’s history with Dagnino – but they are willing to back up Roxy Striar. Roxy and Bateman have a history and the live match in Chicago showed that this was too much for her to ignore as she struck her former flame in what has become known as “The Slap Heard ‘Round the World”. Whether you think it was fair or not, Roxy has completed her penance (thanks to Sneider beating Reilly), but she has still refused to apologise for her act and on a recent edition of Inside Schmoedown, she made it clear that she would do nothing different if given the chance to turn back time. On both Inside Schmoedown and Collider Live, she has made it clear that she was very much against Bateman, calling herself a “Ghai Girl” but also fired shots at the rest of his team: Tom Dagnino and even Mark Reilly, going as far as to call the former Singles Champion a sheep.

Don’t expect Who’s The Boss to take these insults lying down. As for Andreyko, who found himself reinvigorated in the league after leaving the Lion’s Den and turning face with the Fyffe Squad, how will he react if his new manager continues to walk down a darker path?

The Odd Couple vs. KOrruption

It’s safe to say that the members of KOrruption probably aren’t on Roxy’s friends list either, as let’s not forget she used to be Mike Kalinowski’s manager before he walked away from The League and brought KOrruption into the Schmoedown, something that remains a bone of contention between them. More recently, Roxy has also accused KOrruption manager Grace Hancock of some underhand tactics which led to Roxy missing her team’s matches, although fans of Collider Live may be inclined to believe that Grace is innocent and that Roxy just ignored her sat nav again.

With Sneider and Andreyko also being former members of The Lion’s Den, they have history with Grace and know just how sly “The Lioness” can be and will also be quick to back Roxy up if this feud continues.

KOrruption vs. Founding Fathers

This is an interesting one, as it’s not clear quite how far this rivalry currently stretches. John Rocha and Mike Kalinowski clearly have great respect for each other – it was Mike who got rid of the 3-match stipulation that set The Outlaw on his way to winning the title off Bibbiani – but it’s not yet clear how this has been affected by the agonising Sudden Death loss that knocked the Founding Fathers out of the Anarchy tournament. Kalinowski’s teammate Chance Ellison, however, does not have the respect of “The Outlaw” and it has become clear that the Founding Fathers want a rematch with KOrruption to knock Chance down a peg or two and help them push for a title shot.

While this rivalry could be limited to just the two teams, don’t be surprised if more of the faction get involved, especially Grace Hancock, who as a former manager of the Lion’s Den has plenty of history against Rocha.

KOrruption vs. Trivia Dungeon

KOrruption really haven’t been looking to make friends recently. Mike Kalinowski is without a doubt one of the elite Innergeekdom competitors, but with the rise of Kaiser and his new competitor Kevin Smets, it has been clear for a while that the 2 titans of Innergeekdom trivia have been on a collision course for the chance to take on Rachel Cushing in San Diego.

While this may be relatively tame, Kaiser has recently taken on 2 more competitors in the form of unlikely teammates Paul Oyama and Eric Zipper. Zipper has had a bone to pick with Kalinowski ever since “The Killer” arranged for him to face Rachel Cushing in the second round of last year’s Innergeekdom tournament (which saw Cushing win by TKO) and has not enjoyed Kalinowski’s nickname for him of “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”. More recently, Zipper’s frustrations spread to the whole faction as a quiet word in his ear from Grace made him think that abandoning his World’s Finest teammate Winston Marshall would lead to him replacing Mike as leader of the faction, only to find himself friendless and embarrassed when he found it that it was all a lie. Meanwhile, Paul Oyama has his eyes set on a match with Chance Ellison in an effort to prove that “The Cobra” is nothing special despite having been the first competitor promoted from the fan leagues.

With so many big personalities in these factions, expect fireworks at some point!

Time Machine vs. KOrruption

How many times is Kalinowski going to steal people away from Jay Washington? Spectacular II saw The Missfits come to an end as Brianne Chandler drove off into the sun with “The Killer” and now this season he’s stolen away Stacy Howard from the Viper Squad too become a part of KOrruption! Add in his verbal sparring online with Jeannine and there are plenty of reasons why Time Machine will want to take him down.

Stacy’s defection clearly hit a nerve for Jay and Jeannine. They understandably felt betrayed, whereas Stacy didn’t feel that she was getting the support she deserved, so Jeannine’s TKO victory over her last month will make her keen to get one over on her former stablemates.

Emma Fyffe vs. Samm Levine

The final ongoing feud in the league does not involve any factions but could end up having one of the biggest impacts.

Emma Fyffe has thrown herself into her role as Commissioner of the Innergeekdom and Teams Divisions and has clearly been annoyed with the former Double Champion’s much laxer attitude to running the Singles Division. After being given a kick up the ass by Fyffe, Levine found himself taking a more active role and whether it was down to taking an easy option or wanting some form of revenge, he scheduled his fellow Commissioner into a match with Chance Ellison, leading to her being TKO’d. Fyffe’s response to this has now been to suddenly throw Ellison into the Innergeekdom Division.

What will Samm’s next act of “Commissionin’” be and how will Fyffe react to that? Will she be looking for a way to force Samm to compete in Innergeekdom considering he is officially retired from Singles and Teams? Most importantly, how many competitors will get caught in the crossfire during the battle of the Commissioners? Only time will tell.

Have your say: Which is your favourite feud currently going in the league? And who do you think will be involved in the next one?

ALL ABOUT OUTLAW: The Schmoedown History of John Rocha!

ALL ABOUT OUTLAW: The Schmoedown History of John Rocha!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 11/4/2019


Even if you’re new to the Schmoedown, you’ll probably recognize John Rocha. With his trademark Guy Fawkes mask and cowboy hat, “The Outlaw” has been a regular competitor in the Schmoedown since Season 2, trying to make his goal of “All the belts, all the records” a reality.

Rocha’s career in the Schmoedown has been a story of highs and lows, so as he approaches a Triple Threat match that could earn him another shot at the Singles Title, let’s look back through The Outlaw’s journey through the Schmoedown!

Top 10

Rocha arrived as part of the 2015 Ultimate Schmoedown. Unlike its debut year, the 2015 season was a team tournament, so Rocha’s debut came alongside Matt Knost as one half of the team Top 10. Taking on Screen Junkies (Hal Rudnick and Nick Mundy), Rocha went 2/3 to help the team to an early 5-3 lead. Rocha stepped up in Round 2 in the category of Mob Movies, going 4/4 for 6 points, while Mundy’s struggles in 80s Movies allowed Rocha and Knost to steal 3 answers for 4 points, ending the match after just 2 rounds with a 15-5 scoreline – the first time that season a match didn’t go to Round 3!

Next up for Top 10 was a quarterfinal against Team Champs (Movie Fights Champion Dan Murrell and Schmoedown Singles Champion Mark Reilly). Team Champs took an early 6-4 lead but 3 points from 2 steals and 5 points in the category of DiCaprio put Rocha and Knost ahead. In Round 3, Team Champs bet all of their 9 points and got the answer right, some quick mental maths from Matt Knost worked out that betting 7 points was enough to secure the win if both teams had the same answer and the pair were also correct, securing a 19-18 victory – the closest winning margin of the season.

This set up a semifinal against B.O.B. with a final against either the Schmoes or Rotten Tomatoes on the line. The first 2 rounds saw Top 10 take an 18-15 lead, which left Knost doing some more clever maths to give them a chance of winning in the Jeopardy round. B.O.B had turned up to the match dressed as priests and perhaps there was some divine influence at play as they hit the correct answer, while Top 10 missed to give B.O.B a 2-30 victory.

Enter the Singles Division

During Top 10’s run in 2015, “The Mantzman” Scott Mantz had called out Rocha for a 1v1 match after they developed a rivalry on Movie Fights. The Schmoedown’s move to a league format for Season 3 saw Mantz vs. Rocha scheduled for the second match of the season.

After plenty of very vocal trash talk, Mantz took a 2-3 lead in Round 1 but a perfect Round 2 and a 1-point steal in Round 2 gave Rocha an 11-9 lead heading into the final round. Mantz hit his 3- and 5-pointers and Rocha his 1- and 3-pointers, leaving him needing to hit his 5-pointer to win. With the category of his final question being Star Wars, it looked like victory for Rocha – who hosted a Star Wars podcast – would win.

Asked to name the 3 planet settings in The Empire Strikes Back, Rocha managed to name “Hoth” and “Dagobah” but was unable to remember “Bespin” and as a result fell to a 15-17 loss. That moment of infamy is still remembered years later as you hear other competitors talk about their “Bespin moment” when they blank and miss an answer in their wheelhouse that they should have known.

Rocha was soon back to avenge his loss, taking on Josh Macuga, who he defeated 17-16. This led to a rematch against Mantz and from the moment he entered, it was clear that this was a more focused, serious Rocha who was going to do anything to win. The pair could not be separated over the opening 2 rounds, entering Round 3 with a 9-9 score, but Rocha was able to pull away in the final round and win 13-10, earning himself a place in the 2016 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament.

The Rise of the Four Horsemen

In his post-match interview following his victory over Mantz, Rocha teased that there was something coming, showing a 4-fingered symbol but saying nothing further.

Rocha took on Kristian Harloff in the first round of the tournament and – using a blindfold to cut out the Commissioner’s distracting antics – he defeated the creator of the league 21-19, the highest scoring Singles match in the history of the Schmoedown at the time.

Next up for Rocha was a return to the Teams Division with a #1 Contender Match against Rotten Tomatoes. In a close match, Top 10 came away with the 23-21 victory to set up a title shot against The Schmoes.

Before taking on The Schmoes, Rocha had the rest of the Singles Tournament to focus on. Taking on Mark “Yodi” Reilly in the semifinal, Rocha took the lead in Round 1 and steadily extended his advantage in Rounds 2 and 3 to emerge victorious 18-14. This set up a final against Mark Ellis that would also work as a #1 Contender Match to face Dan Murrell at Spectacular. In Rocha’s first match in the 5-round format, there was little between them over the first 2 rounds. The betting round saw Ellis open up a lead as Rocha lost 2 points and Ellis gained 2, while he extended this lead to 9-13 by the end of Round 4. Rocha fought hard in the final round but could not overcome the deficit and “Baby Carrots” came away with a 13-18 victory.

Rocha only had to wait a couple of days before he could try to get revenge on Ellis. Taking on The Schmoes in his first Championship Match, Rocha and Knost took an early 14-9 lead over the first 2 rounds. A correct answer for Top 10 and a wrong answer for The Schmoes saw the lead stretch to 17-6 and the buzzer round saw each competitor answer a question right for Top 10 to take an unassailable 19-8 lead and earn a KO victory. The Outlaw had won his first title and was in a strong position to compete for the Singles Title too.

Following an impressive debut against Marc Andreyko, William “The Beast” Bibbiani had his post-match interview interrupted by Rocha, who announced that he was forming a faction, the Four Horsemen. He and Knost were the first 2 Horsemen and The Beast was brought on as the 3rd member. Schmoedown Spectacular kicked off with Robert Meyer Burnett winning the inaugural Innergeekdom Title match and following his victory, “The Captain” was invited to become the 4th member. As a counter to the Horsemen, Top 10’s opponents The Patriots combined with Tom Dagnino and Marc Andreyko to form their own faction, The Lion’s Den.

The third match of Spectacular saw Top 10 look to defend their title against The Patriots. The challengers opened a 2-point lead over the first 3 rounds and the buzzer round extended this to 11-13. 6 points for Top 10 in the final round and misses for Sneider and JTE left The Patriots having to hit their 5-pointer for victory, which they managed to do, leading to them taking the titles and beginning the longest title run in Schmoedown history (so far).

Rocha did not have much time to focus on this loss as he was involved in the very next match, a Singles #1 Contender Match against Mark Reilly. “Yodi” led through the first 2 rounds but Rocha got the maximum 9 points in Round 3 and Reilly was unable to hit his 5-pointer, earning Rocha his first shot at the Singles Title.

This Championship match came early in Season 4. Dan Murrell came into this match with a 5-0 record in Singles and 2 title defences under his belt, but he had a challenge on his hands in the form of the Outlaw. The pair could not be separated in Round 1 and while Murrell managed to open a 1-point lead during the wheel round, Rocha had brought things back level going into the final round. Rocha missed his 1-pointer and Murrell hit his, Rocha missed his 3-pointer but hit his 5-pointer to reach 21 points.

Murrell hit his 3-pointer but missed his final question and with a scream of delight, The Outlaw celebrated winning the Singles Title and becoming the first competitor to have held belts in multiple divisions.

The Fall of the Horsemen

By the time Rocha won the Singles Title, Burnett had lost his Innergeekdom title to Hector Navarro and Bibbiani had lost to JTE – his first Singles victory since 2014. It was up to the Outlaw and Top 10 at this point to lead the Horsemen. Top 10 took on the Schmoes for a second time and came out with a 26-24 victory, which marked the last time to date that the Schmoes competed together outside of exhibition matches.

The first Free 4 All saw Rocha emerge as the 16th competitor out of 35 and last 8 rounds (the 3rd highest of everyone involved) and score 28 points (joint-2nd with John Humphrey) before being eliminated as part of the famous XX5XX moment.

Rocha’s next match was his first title defence and 3rd Singles match against Mark Reilly, who had defeated teammate Clarke Wolfe to earn a shot at winning back his title. After an opening round that saw the pair matched at 7-7, Reilly spun Opponent’s Choice and was surprisingly given Scores & Soundtracks, in which he earned 5 points and gave away a 1-point steal. Rocha spun Spinner’s Choice and picked Westerns, earning 7 points to take a 15-12 lead. Both lost 2 points in the betting round and the scores were still the same following a buzzer round that saw Reilly have what he would probably consider one of the biggest misses of his career (blanking on “Scream” and instead saying “The Sandlot”). Rocha could only hit his 3-point question in Round 5 and Reilly hit his 3- and 5-pointers to take his title back with a 16-18 victory and become the first 2-time Champion.

Top 10’s victory over The Schmoes saw them take on The Patriots for the second time, but a perfect Round 1 from Jeff Sneider (who missed the bonus question) saw The Patriots take an early 9-14 lead, which Top 10 were unable to overcome, eventually losing via TKO 20-27.

Dan Murrell was set to face Mark Reilly for the Singles Title at Collision, but Rocha got himself involved and managed to make the match a Triple Threat. In the main event, things were close after Round1, but Reilly fell 5 points behind during the wheel round (Murrell and Rocha remained level on points). Murrell took the lead in the buzzer round and Reilly was eliminated after missing his 2- and 3-pointers. Rocha missed his 2- and 3-pointers too (including the infamous “Fruit of the Loom” incident that appeared to rattle him) but hit his 5-pointer to throw it back to Murrell, who scored 7 points to win back the title.

Following this match, the discontent amongst the Four Horsemen reached a head and William Bibbiani betrayed Rocha, leaving the Horsemen to form the Growling Commandos with Ricky Hayberg and Witney Seibold. Burnett quickly followed suit, joining the Lion’s Den. The Horsemen were over, and it was back to just Rocha and Knost, who refused to leave his partner.

New Rivals

It was time for Top 10 to reset and the 2017 Ultimate Schmoedown was the perfect chance to do this. Up until now, Rocha had been one of the biggest heels in the league, but he mellowed somewhat, giving his competitors the respect they were due but not being afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone who got in his way.

Top 10’s opening match in the tournament was against the Reel Rejects and a strong performance by Rocha (7/8 in Round 1, 8 points working with Knost in Biopics during Round 2, and successfully answering his Round 3 3-pointer) helped push them towards a 26-25 victory, which set up a quarterfinal against the Lion’s Den’s second team, Blofeld’s Cat (Burnett and Andreyko).

Against Blofeld’s Cat, Rocha earned a perfect round in Round 1 but missed the bonus, which helped set Top 10 up for a 34-29 victory – a new points record in the Division. Following this match, Rocha took a quick break to compete in a Celebrity Match, where he and Brett Davern defeated Jeff Sneider and Beau Mirchoff 27-25.

After that it was back to the tournament and their next opponents were the new heels on the block, Team Action, who had been making a name of themselves with their impressive performances and complete lack of respect. Ben Bateman and Andrew Ghai took a 10-12 Round 1 lead and things got even worse for Top 10 in Round 2 as the dreaded Spinner’s Choice & Opponent’s Choice combo went against them, leaving them 13-20 down. Rocha and Knost earned the full 10 points in Round 3, but Ghai hit the 2-pointer and Bateman the 3-pointer to take the victory 23-25 and end Top 10’s run in the tournament.

Rocha was also competing in the Singles Tournament and after taking out 16th seed Jason Inman via TKO 11-10, it was time to take on Samm Levine. At this point, Levine was 4-4 in Singles, but his new partnership with Drew McWeeny was making waves in the Teams Tournament and set to face Action in the final. Levine had made some comments against Rocha in a post-match interview and Rocha kept a recording of this on his phone for motivation.

Rocha was in a strong position in this match, down by just 3 points halfway through Round 2, but a controversial call against John Rocha (saying “Lena Headley” rather than “Lena Headey”) resulted in a 2-point steal for Levine to level the scores going into Round 3, where “The Inglorious One” came out with a 17-19 victory.

With Action losing to Above The Line, Top 10 challenged the young upstarts to a rematch, which they initially refused. New Commissioner Thadd Williams put some stipulations in place that made it impossible for them to resist: A Top 10 victory would win them a #1 Contender Match; an Action victory would win them a Title Match and Top 10 would split for a year. The match took place at Spectacular 2 and a poor Round 2 for Action gave Top 10 a 10-point lead. Ghai missed his 2-point question and Top 10 had the TKO victory 12-22.

Then Things Got Crazy

As Rocha began to celebrate that victory, an enraged Andrew Ghai snapped and tackled the Outlaw to the floor, being pulled away by Bateman and Thadd and earning himself a 3-month ban. Rocha luckily sustained minimal injuries and with the season ending, he had time to recuperate before having to play again.

Ten vs. Den

With The Patriots still holding the Teams Title one year on, Top 10 hoped that they would be the ones to finally end their run of success. Their #1 Contender match was arranged against Top That (Eric Goldman and Jim Vejvoda), who at 3-1 were going to be a dangerous opponent. Round 1 could not have gone any better for Top 10 as both Rocha and Knost hit perfect rounds and the bonus questions to take an 18-13 lead. Top 10 spun Opponent’s Choice but were let off by Top That’s lack of knowledge about the game as they gave Rocha and Knost Biopics, a category that Rocha had never missed a question in. Top 10 earned 10 points on this spin, but Top That scored 10 points after spinning Comic Book Movies, a strength, for 10 points. Both teams scored 7 points in the final round and Top 10 came away with the 35-30 victory and the chance of a third match against The Patriots.

The opening two rounds saw Sneider and JTE take a 19-23 lead before the controversy of Round 3. After spinning Westerns, The Patriots lost 1 point and Top 10 scored 3, to level the scores at 22-22, with Rocha having got the answer in the last second and scribbled the answer – Jane Fonda – on the corner of the board rather than use a JTE rule. Sneider challenged the ruling and it was decided that as the answer was not legibly written on the board the points could not be allowed. Shockingly though, Sneider’s suggestion of a re-spin was also accepted and in the category of Will Smith, The Patriots scored 3 points and Top 10 lost 3. The decision clearly got in the heads of Rocha and Knost and Round 4 ended with Top 10 being KO’d 15-28.

At this point, JTE was able to boast that John Rocha had never beat him, but The Outlaw had the chance to do so mere days later at the first live event at the El Portal Theatre. With the crowd going wild, Things were level going into Round 2, where JTE spun once of his strengths in Sly & Arnie. Things did not go Little Evil’s way though as a couple of bad errors – including one of the more forgotten JTE-isms “Elisha Dooku” – Rocha stole more points (4) than JTE earned (2). Rocha spun Westerns and earned 7 more points, while JTE missed his 2-pointer in Westerns to hand Rocha a 17-10 TKO victory. After this match, Rocha announced that he was coming for the Lion’s Den and hinted that he may be looking for some new support to join him and Knost.

Next up for Rocha was the second Free 4 All, where he was the 33rd competitor out of 48. He lasted 4 rounds, spending time at the table with rivals Bibbiani, Burnett and Bateman, eventually getting eliminated by Bateman after scoring 11 points.

With the chance of a direct title shot gone for another season, it was back to taking on the Lion’s Den and with JTE down, it was time to battle his Patriots teammate Jeff Sneider. Sneider took a lead in Round 1 and while the score remained close throughout, Rocha was unable to pull a 5-pointer in the category Horror/Thriller and he fell to the Insneider 17-20.

The Horsemen Return

While The Outlaw had been focusing on the Lion’s Den, it did not mean his rivalry with Team Action was over. Andrew Ghai returned from his suspension worse than ever, stealing Dan Murrell’s spot in the Free 4 All and going on to brag to everyone that he had beat the GOAT. Following Action’s loss to the Shirewolves at the second EL Portal live event, Ghai pulled a stunt of calling Murrell out only for “Murrell” (Bateman dressed as Murrell) to appear as a target for ridicule. Suddenly music started to cut them off, the lights went out and when they came back up, four hooded figures stood on stage showing the symbol of the Four Horsemen.

One by one the figures revealed themselves: Knost… Rocha… Jason Inman… and Mark Reilly, coming out of retirement! As the crowd went wild, the symbol of the 4 changed to a 5 and the lights went out again, coming back up to reveal a 5th figure. Rocha pulled off the hood of the new figure to reveal a fifth Horseman: “Dangerous” Dan Murrell!

The three great rivals from the early days of the league had joined forces along with former Teams Champion Matt Knost and then-Innergeekdom Champion Jason Inman to create what was on paper arguably one of the strongest factions in Schmoedown history. Murrell decided to shut Ghai up by challenging him to a Singles match at Collision.

Unfortunately for the Horsemen, that didn’t go to plan as Murrell was TKO’d on his return to competition. Reilly challenged Ghai next, while Rocha – who by this point had beaten Alex Wolff in a 1v1 Celebrity Match, 19-18 – took on Bateman, with the winners of these matches set to face each other in a #1 Contender match for a chance to take on new Champion William Bibbiani. Reilly fell to Ghai but in a tight match, Bateman missed a tough 5-pointer to hand Rocha the victory 18-16.

Before Rocha could take on Ghai, it was time to enter the Ultimate Schmoedown Teams Tournament. Mike Kalinowski’s influence on the league had put a twist in this season’s tournament: Anarchy. Every existing team other than the Champions (The Shirewolves) were split up and new teams were formed for the tournament. Knost was paired with Bibbiani but Rocha and new stablemate Dan Murrell were paired to form the Founding Fathers. Their team debut came at the third El Portal live event, where they took on Wait, I Know This (Stacy Howard and Winston Marshall). Despite a strong performance from Stacy Howard, The Founding Fathers were just too strong and came out with the 20-17 TKO victory. It wasn’t all good news for the Horsemen at the event though, as Jason Inman lost his title to Mara Knopic in the other match.

Rocha took on Ghai for a shot at Bibbiani and Ghai was unable to make it 3 from 3 as Rocha took a 2-point lead in Round 1 and took advantage of spinning Westerns in Round 2 to win via TKO, 13-12. Before taking on Bibbiani, it was a return to Anarchy, where the Founding Fathers were taking on KOrruption (Kalinowski and rookie Chance Ellison). In an incredibly tight match, the scores went 12-12 in Round 1, 23-23 in Round 2 and a last second pull from John Rocha after using the last JTE rule to get the 5-pointer saw the scores level after 3 rounds, 30-30.

The tie went to Sudden Death and on the first question, Dan Murrell fell afoul of what could be considered the “Jane Fonda Rule,” Ellison got the point despite writing “David O’Russell” rather than “David O. Russell,” and Rocha and Kalinowski both got it right, giving KOrruption the 31-32 win. Rocha challenged the call against Dan and in favour of Chance, but this was overruled and the result stood, leading to a highly emotional post-match interview that included Rocha wondering if he would compete in his upcoming Championship Match.

Thankfully, he got himself back on track and took on his old nemesis William Bibbiani for the Singles Title. Bibbiani’s run of success had started with the decision to stand at Free 4 All 2 and he had not sat down for a match ever since. In this match, Rocha decided to take a leaf out of The Beast’s book and stand. In another great contest Bibbiani took a 12-14 lead after 2 rounds, only for the betting round to flip that score. A strong performance on the buzzer put Bibbiani a point ahead, but he could only hit his 2-point question in the final round and Rocha scored his 3- and 5-pointers to win and become the third 2-time Singles Champion.

Changing Times

This title victory meant that Rocha would become the only competitor to have played a match in all the first 3 Spectaculars, as he took on 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament winner Ethan Erwin. Both were level after Round 1, but Erwin took the lead in Round 2, finishing Round 4 with a 15-20 lead, though either competitor could have had an extra point in the buzzer round if they had been brave enough to guess that it was Samm Levine who played PFC Hirschberg in Inglorious Basterds. Rocha hit his 2-pointer but missed his last 2 questions and the Singles title moved to Ethan Erwin, the first rookie to win the title (if you don’t count Reilly in the inaugural year).

With the season coming to an end, Top 10 also came to an end as a team as Matt Knost announced that he would be retiring from the league. Inman also stepped away indefinitely and Reilly’s success as part of Anarchy team Who’s The Boss led to him sticking with Ben Bateman in the Teams Division, which meant that The Founding Fathers would remain as a team going forward.

With Dan Murrell winning his third Singles Title in New York, the next set of competitors to make a run for the title were decided: Rocha would take on Marc Andreyko and William Bibbiani would play Lon Harris. The winners would feature against each other and Ethan Erwin in a Triple Threat #1 Contender Match. Against “The Android”, Rocha hit a perfect Round 1 but missed the bonus, taking a 1-point lead. The lead was extended to 2 points by the end of Round 2. Both hit their 2-and 3-point questions in the final round, but Andreyko challenged and for once, Rocha was on the right end of a decision and the points stood. This left Rocha with a 19-17 lead and Andreyko missed his final question to give Rocha the place in the Triple Threat Match.

Rocha’s last competitive appearance to date was this year’s Free 4 All, where he emerged as competitor number 24/40. He scored 12 points in 4 rounds before being eliminated following (you guessed it!) an unsuccessful challenge on the merits of jewels rather than diamonds.

What Next for The Outlaw?

This is an interesting moment for John Rocha. While Bibbiani and Erwin are going to be tough competition, a focused John Rocha has the ability to win this and set up a title shot against his teammate. The Founding Fathers also have 2 matches scheduled, taking on the Wildberries on April 25th and Double Toasted at the Houston live event. 2 wins here would put them close to a #1 Contender Match but with Dan Murrell having won the Free 4 All and now having a title shot to use when he wants, they could easily set up a Championship Match in the Teams Division. There have also been discussions about Rocha moving into the Star Wars Division later in the season, making him the first competitor to have won a belt and then move into this division.

Along with the talk about Rocha’s personal future, the Horsemen’s future must also be considered. Mark Reilly and Dan Murrell have been suggesting Ben Bateman as a potential recruit, but neither he nor Rocha seem sold on the suggestion so far. There are plenty of quality competitors out there that could join the faction, or Rocha could decide to stick to just the 3 original Singles Champions. Only time will tell.

Hall of Fame…?

With his longevity in the league and his success over both Teams and Singles (and potentially also Star Wars in the future), his name may not come up in conversation as often as some competitors, but I think that he is in the mix when discussing who the GOAT is and another title would really help that.

Regardless, Rocha has been one of the key parts of the Schmoedown’s early success. From being the first real heel of the show, it could be argued that he set the foundation that has allowed more recent heels like Team Action to take things to the level they have. His success and drive to keep coming back for more has kept him as a big name in the league even when other big names like Reilly, Murrell, Harloff, Ellis and Levine have stepped away from competing for periods of time. While he has been on the wrong end of several controversial moments, these have also helped improve the league by helping clarify the rules, which will only help the league go.

If the Schmoedown creates a Hall of Fame, my vote is firmly on John Rocha.

“Horsemen! Let’s mount up, it’s time to ride!”

Nuclear Fallout: Who Will Manage in Season 7?

Nuclear Fallout: Who Will Manage in Season 7?

Following Mike Kalinowski’s defeat of Jeannine “The Machine” in the latest Schmoedown Throwdown, Chairman Kristian Harloff released the first information of the Nuke. Initially teased and proposed by Robert Meyer Burnett during his run as Commissioner, the original plan was apparently heavily revised by the chairman to become what was announced: Season 7 will begin with a draft, with 10 managers taking turns to pick 10 players each from the Schmoedown roster in a shake-up that suddenly makes Season 5’s Anarchy like child’s play.

Personally, I’m excited to see how this goes. But the first thought I had on hearing this was that we’re going to be getting new managers, as there aren’t currently 10 active managers in the league. So who will we see managing next year?

The current crop

As one of the original managers way back in Season 3, I can’t imagine Tom Dagnino not being one of the managers. The impact he has on his teams can maybe be questioned and his run in the Horsemen has had limited success, but he led one of the most dominant factions in the Lion’s Den and has managed 2 of the best/most successful teams in the history of the league: Who’s The Boss and the Patriots. Able to do a job on a mic, it takes the pressure off a competitor pre-match and you’re bound to have a few fun lines sticking in your mind.

mts Jay-Washington-Brianne-Chandler-Stacy-Howard-Missfits-1024x576Another of the earlier managers still going strong is Jay Washington. Often going under the radar due to limited success at the top level, Jay has done a great job of helping his teams find their feet in the league, going as far as to turn up for Jeannine’s debut just days after having vital surgery! With his comedic and wrestling background, Jay is a pro on the mic and will do whatever he can to take the pressure off his competitors.

feat mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Robert-Meyer-BurnettAs the brains behind the first version of the Nuke, it’s hard to imagine Robert Meyer Burnett not being one of the 10. “The Captain” has had a good degree of success since returning to the league with The Family, bringing in former Teams Champion Drew McWeeny and upcoming Innergeekdom star Brandon Hanna. Prepare for some very loud rants as he drafts his competitors.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Grace-Hancock-Ken-Napzok-KOrruption-1024x576Another former member of the Lion’s Den who has gone on to manage another faction is Grace Hancock. Returning to take charge of KOrruption, “The Lioness” has overseen the capture of Stacy Howard and Tim Franco and the rise of Mikey 2 Belts. Expect her to keep working with Ken Napzok who has become the mouthpiece of the faction.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Roxy-Striar-1024x576Though she has had experience managing a faction previously, it has been since she joined up with the Odd Couple that Roxy Striar has really come into her own. You just have to listen to Andreyko and Sneider talk about the impact she has had on them over the last year, so much so that she is one of the frontrunners for Manager of the Year. Though she may not feel able to compete herself, she clearly knows the game well and will always be there to support those on her side.

One of Roxy’s biggest rivals for Manager of the Year, John Kaiser has been one of the big additions to the league this season. Coming in along with Kevin Smets, the pair have looked almost unbeatable, while he has also created an underrated team in the Loose Canons and got a Champion in his first season with Paul Oyama’s victory in the Singles Division. Another who is great on the mic, it will be interesting to see if he drafts Smets… or if someone snatches “The Smasher” before Kaiser has the chance.

mts jonathan harris lon harris harris brothersAnd the final existing manager from this season is Jonathan Harris. Harris had his ups and downs competing but has looked good as a manager when given the mic pre- and post-match. He’s had limited experience managing this year but a strong draft could see him become a key component of the league in Season 7. Now how high does he draft brother Lon…?

So that’s 7 managers (if we count the Grace/Ken partnership as 1 manager), but Kristian said there would be 10 managers. So who else could we see?

A grand return?

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Emma-Fyffe.jpg2018 was the season of the Fyffe Club and Emma Fyffe was a deserved Manager of the Year, however her role as Commissioner of the Teams and Innergeekdom Divisions meant that she had to give up managing a faction to avoid a conflict of interests. Perhaps the pressures of running 2 divisions (3 if you count picking up much of Samm Levine’s work in the Singles Division) will see her choose to step down as Commissioner and go back to managing. Only Marc Andreyko remains of her old faction, but I feel that the work she did to bring the old Fyffe Club together could be replicated on a grander scale in Season 7.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Clarke-Wolfe-1024x576If Emma Fyffe chooses not to step down as Commissioner, perhaps one of her old faction will step into the role. Enter Clarke Wolfe, who has stepped away from competing but has talked about remaining involved with the Schmoedown. We’ve already seen her appearing on the desk, but perhaps she will choose to take on a more active role and pass on her experience as a former champion.

Change of focus

feat mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-John-Rocha-The-Outlaw-LiveCompeting at the top of the Schmoedown is a hard task and requires a lot of time and focus, so it is no surprise that so many former champions have stepped away from competing or had a hiatus from the league. One man who has been competing since Season 2 without a break however is John Rocha. “The Outlaw” and teammate Dan Murrell will be putting their partnership on the line in their Championship Match against KOrruption, who included the stipulation that the Founding Fathers must split up if they lose. Perhaps if this happens, Rocha will take some time out from competing and pass on his experience by becoming a manager. He has the knowledge of the game and the ability on the mic to be a great manager and with the limited success of the Horsemen this year, it could be just what he needs to build a new successful faction.

Going Live

Collider Live has become important viewing for Schmoedown fans in 2019 with a healthy dose of Schmoedown content. From talking about the recent matches and live events, to a number of announcements. Roxy has started and built on a number of her feuds this year on the show, but perhaps it will be the source of the next manager.

mts brett sheridan free4all3Fan favourite Brett Sheridan made his Schmoedown debut at the Free 4 All and may choose to take on a more active (but not competing) role as a manager. Like many of the managers above, his comedic background gives him a great presence on the mic that will be so helpful for a competitor who would rather focus on their performance at the table.

mts cody hall lon harrisCody Hall is arguably the MVP of Collider Live every week but has rarely featured on the Schmoedown since the old fantasy stats segments with Josh Macuga and his match against Lon Harris to kick off Season 5. Though having recently having a child may limit his availability, his quick wit and comedic timing would surely make him a fan favourite manager.

 

Looking even further into recurring members of the Collider Live group, Dorina Arellano and Kate Mulligan have been regulars on the show so would not feel out of place if they transferred over to the Schmoedown as a new manager, while they would also be able to create new characters for themselves due to not being already established in the league.

If you can’t beat them…

mtscoyFollowing on from the suggestion of Clarke Wolfe becoming a manager, there were a few other competitors who came to mind as potential managers. Coy Jandreau’s record as a competitor isn’t great, but he has always been such a great personality in matches and I thought his promo at the LA live event during Anarchy did a great job of highlighting his ability on the mic.

Winston Marshall has also had a limited impact on the league since Eric Zipper brought an end to the World’s Finest, but he always did a great job on the mic. He has made a few appearances on Collider Live and in the early SEN live streams that will surely be adding to his popularity. Another who always seems seconds away from a great line, he is another with great mic skills and I am confident that he would also do a great job switching to a managerial role.

mts Movie-Trivia-Schmoedown-Joseph-ScrimshawThe final name that came to mind was that of Ken’s old rival in the Star Wars Division: Joseph Scrimshaw. With a number of new faces appearing in the Star Wars Division and only a few matches per season, he may decide that management is a good way to take a more active role in the league, while his previous matches have highlighted his ability on the mic that will again alleviate the pressure for a competitor who wants to focus on the trivia rather than the showmanship.

The great unknown

And finally… we could have some new personalities that we don’t yet know about. Kaiser wasn’t even part of the league a year ago and now he has a faction with 3 competitors, including the current Singles Champion. The great news about the Schmoedown is that it is still growing and therefore there is a great chance of us finding not just great new competitors, but also great new managers.

 

Let’s see who comes out on top in the nuclear fallout…

FACTION WITH FANGS: The Year of Jay Washington and the Viper Squad

FACTION WITH FANGS: The Year of Jay Washington and the Viper Squad

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the coming weeks, I will be posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 11/1/2019


What a difference 12 months can make in the Schmoedown. This time last year, Jay Washington was left reeling after Brianne Chandler walked away from the Missfits and jumped in a car with their rival Mike Kalinowsk. Now, he has just become the first manager to lead a competitor to the Singles Title!

It’s been a year of up and downs for Jay, and it starts and ends with Schmoedown Spectacular…

From the Ashes

Brianne failed to show up to support Jay ahead of Schmoedown Spectacular II’s manager Bowl – in which he came 3rd, behind Emma Fyffe and Tom Dagnino – but she arrived later, to tell Jay that she was leaving the Missfits. She tried to convince Stacy Howard to come with her, but Stacy chose to stick with Jay.

This moment brought an end to the Missfits, but Jay took this as a chance to rebuild and the Viper Squad was created, with rookies Markeia McCarty and Jeannine the Machine being brought into the new faction.

Early Success

2018 started well for the Viper Squad. Jeannine won on debut against Bonnie Somerville – with Jay even turning up to support her despite having left the hospital just three days earlier! – and a victory for Stacy Howard over Josh Macuga was quickly backed up by The Machine beating Emma Fyffe via TKO, as the Vipers began a feud with the Fyffe Squad.

With Stacy at 4-1 and Jeannine at 2-0, things were looking good for Jay and his faction.

Mid-Season Struggles

Things did not go so well in the Innergeekdom Division, however. Jay Washington looked to take on Emma Fyffe in the first round of the Innergeekdom tournament but could not keep the momentum going and lost 16-17. Meanwhile, Markeia made her debut in an unenviable first round matchup against an in-form Rachel Cushing and she fell to a loss via KO.

The run of bad results continued at Collider Collision II, as both Stacy and Jeannine were set to compete against each other and Marc Andreyko in a triple threat match, with the winner set to compete in a Number 1 Contender match. Unfortunately for the Vipers, neither of them could pull out the victory over the Android and he went on to beat Ethan Erwin for a shot at the vacant title.

Anarchy

Things became even more difficult for the Vipers as factions and teams were split and reorganised for the Anarchy of the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Teams Tournament. Stacy Howard suffered a first round exit along with Winston Marshall at the hands of the Founding Fathers, but Jay must have thought Christmas had come early when Jeannine was paired with Ethan Erwin. However, due to scheduling issues, they had to swap teams and Jeannine instead was paired with Brian Walton, and they in the first round to The Paddington Two.

Ethan Erwin was moved to partnering Sabina Graves, and they also went out in the first round, to the Cinemaniacs. But Jay was able to get special dispensation from puppet-Commissioner Thadd to manage both Jeannine and Ethan’s teams during Anarchy and continue working with Ethan for the remainder of the season.

Markeia was also involved in Anarchy, but as a manager of Take The Cannoli rather than a competitor, and was the only member of the Viper Squad to make it into the second round of the tournament, where they lost to The Harris Brothers.

Ultimate Victory

With Ethan Erwin and Stacy Howard both in the 7 confirmed competitors for the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Tournament and Jeannine in the Qualifying Gauntlet, Jay was very busy as the season came to an end.

Jeannine was unable to beat Ben Bateman in the Gauntlet and Stacy Howard lost to an in-form Dan Murrell in the first round. The Viper Squad’s season was over.

But Jay was still going: Ethan Erwin defeated Chance Ellison, Murrell and Clarke Wolfe, on the way to winning the final that gave Jay the perfect end to the year, with a TKO victory over John Rocha at Spectacular III.

Trouble Ahead?

While having the Singles Champion under his management may sound great, things may not be quite as rosy as they first look for Jay. He’s been famous in the Schmoedown for having a rather angry and combative approach to his faction’s opponents, but has had to change to being a sweet and smiling presence to please Ethan Erwin. This new, nice Jay does not match at all with the rest of the Viper Squad, so it will be interesting to see what happens moving forward.

Right now, Ethan is not a part of the Viper Squad. He’s just sharing their manager. I have a couple of possible theories as to what we may see happen:

1. Ethan gets corrupted by the Viper Squad and joins them – Personally I can’t imagine this happening right now as Ethan seems far too chill to turn heel, even if he were to lose the belt.

2. Jay continues with 2 separate personalities, his new nice guy act with Ethan and his usual attitude with the rest of the Vipers – which could have hilarious consequences if both Ethan and the Vipers are around at the same time.

3. Jay tries to stay a nice guy to keep Ethan with him, which results in the Viper Squad dismissing him – Markeia noted how free she felt managing Take The Cannoli and that experience could lead to her taking over control of the Vipers

What do you think will happen going forward? Can Jay keep managing the Viper Squad and Ethan Erwin? With Ethan defending his title at the New York live event on January 26th, we probably won’t have long to wait until we find out!